LUDLOW, Vt. – La Tavola owners Fernando and Sao Uva are restaurateurs that have plenty of experience with running Italian restaurants, having had great success with restaurants in New York, Ft. Myers, Fla., and Martha’s Vineyard to name just a few locations. Now they’ve settled happily in Ludlow and have taken over the Route 100 North property that was originally home to Bella Luna and more recently Harry’s.
They have been open now for over two weeks and according to their Maitre D’ Tony LaValle, they’ve had a really good reception with the town and locals. “It’s been terrific. Feedback has been great,” he said. They are also enjoying many repeat customers, with increases in their dinner numbers higher than anticipated during this soft opening. Lavalle, who has been with the owners for over 10 years, expects to have an official grand opening in the next few weeks, likely kicking off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony by the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Lavalle describes the menu as “authentic New York Italian” cuisine with all the classic Italian dishes you would expect. Somewhat unexpected however is their fresh preparation. “All of our pastas are made fresh and sautéed in the pan. Nothing is made in advance,” he said. Although that may extend the time needed to deliver the entrée to a guest’s table, LaValle said he is looking for people to enjoy the experience as well as the ambiance and the good service.
The restaurant features a full bar and an extensive wine list and many Italian wines but many California wines as well, with a wide range of varietals.
The owners have brought many key employees with them including their head chef, bartenders, and key servers as well as LaValle, all to help get them up and running as smoothly as possible. They have also hired several locals and, according to LaValle, are always looking for additional kitchen help.
La Tavola is planning on having their lounge stay open later than most local restaurants, featuring a unique after-hour lounge menu, serving customers from 10 p.m. to midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, once the main restaurant is closed. That timing may change once LaValle learns more about what his customers want.
Until then, LaValle is enjoying getting to know more about the area and meeting the locals. He has appreciated how helpful and welcoming the town has been. “People are rooting for us. They want good Italian food,” he said.
La Tavola is open six days a week, closed on Wednesdays. Restaurant hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. with the lounge open until midnight during the week and until 2 a.m. on weekends.